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Why should we bother to LEARN a foreign language?

So, what are some of these “rewards”: Personal

  1. Lift your own self-esteem and confidence

  2. Enter a wider range of communities (both real and virtual)

  3. Meet more people from other countries and make more friends

  4. Develop your own tolerance and levels of cultural awareness

  5. Learn more about your own language and culture

  6. Enjoy literature and movies without the “smell” of translation

  7. Impress a significant other on a dinner date at foreign restaurant

  8. Help you find your “soul-mate” (even if they live thousands of miles away)

  9. Support your children with their language learning (and access information more quickly

  10. Help stimulate and exercise “more mature” grey matter (and hold off Alzheimer's) Travel

  11. Work and live abroad to gain a broader world view

  12. Show you have genuine interest in other nationalities and cultures

  13. Feel confident to do and see more on holiday (and enjoy the holiday more)

  14. Sample more of the local life and culture on your travels

  15. Appreciate more of the local hospitality and humour

  16. Impress the locals (and help you get better service)

  17. Read signs and avoid getting lost so often

  18. Solve holiday problems and emergencies faster

  19. Help you avoid tourist traps (and being ripped-off)

  20. Break down barriers and the stereotypes that others may have of you and your countryEducation

  21. Learn more about people and their cultures

  22. Improve your own knowledge of your place in our global world

  23. Access more cutting-edge research and scientific knowledge

  24. Set yourself up with more educational opportunities (and better choices)

  25. Take up offers on exchange programmes and study abroad initiatives

  26. Help you stand out from the crowd when applying to colleges and universities

  27. Learn a second or third language faster

  28. Boost your brain power and ability to think logically and more critically (seriously)Finding a job

  29. Choose from a wider range of career options

  30. Stand apart from other applicants and their CVs

  31. Work with multinational companies and representative offices around the world

  32. Obtain a higher starting salary than most monoglots (and earn more in your career)

  33. Settle in a new job faster, network and work with foreign employees more effectively

  34. Move up the “promotion ladder” fasterBusiness

  35. Meet and interact with more potential clients and business partners

  36. Establish rapport with new customers faster

  37. Build better business relationships through e-mail and teleconferences

  38. Work more easily with suppliers and distributors in other countries

  39. Hold more effective face-to-face business meetings (impressing clients and the boss)

  40. Deliver better presentations (and show respect to foreign clients)

  41. Promote your services and products more effectively on global websites

  42. Gain and keep a head-start over your competitors

  43. Reach customers you might previously have missed

  44. Avoid misunderstandings (and profit loss) caused by things getting lost in translation

My thanks to Gizem, Nazlı, Gülay, Fatma, Linda, Önder, Paul and “Dexter” – for helping me compile and polish the “list”.